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The Effects of Same-Gender Role Models in Entrepreneurship - A Randomized Field Experiment
Last registered on March 29, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The Effects of Same-Gender Role Models in Entrepreneurship - A Randomized Field Experiment
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002284
Initial registration date
June 23, 2017
Last updated
March 29, 2018 5:53 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2015-11-30
End date
2018-09-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Research on understanding the factors and decision processes that influence men and women to pursue an entrepreneurial career has gained momentum during the past years. We investigate in how far exposure to real-life entrepreneurial role models as one educational variable in a German university entrepreneurship course has an effect on the entrepreneurial intentions, attitudes and entrepreneurial self-efficacy of students. Over a period of two years, we conduct a randomized field experiment within a full-semester, mandatory entrepreneurship course for undergraduate students at a large German university. Our sample comprises approximately (status March 2018) 1678 students that work in 337 teams of four to five. Each team collaborates with one of 175 participating business founders, of which 52 are female.
We define seven outcome variables to test in how far the interaction with a (same-gender) business founder influences student's development over time: (1) entrepreneurial intentions, (2) attitudes towards entrepreneurship, as well as (3) creative problem solving, (4) marshalling of resources, (5) implementing, (6) managing ambiguity, and (7) financial knowledge as five indicators that represent entrepreneurial self-efficacy. The combination of a mandatory entrepreneurship course, random assignment of students to teams and entrepreneurs, as well as a pre-test/post-test design, allows us to draw robust causal inferences about the impact of female entrepreneurial role models. We find that exposure to female entrepreneurs particularly boosts the development of entrepreneurial self-efficacy and attitudes towards entrepreneurship of female students.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Bechthold, Laura and Laura Huber. 2018. "The Effects of Same-Gender Role Models in Entrepreneurship - A Randomized Field Experiment ." AEA RCT Registry. March 29. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2284-2.0.
Former Citation
Bechthold, Laura, Laura Bechthold and Laura Huber. 2018. "The Effects of Same-Gender Role Models in Entrepreneurship - A Randomized Field Experiment ." AEA RCT Registry. March 29. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2284/history/27355.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Over a period of three years (2016, 2017, 2018), we conduct a field experiment within a full-semester, mandatory entrepreneurship course for undergraduate students of business and business education at a large German university. Each year around 560 students participate in this course. In teams of four to five, students collaborate with a real-life entrepreneur to prepare a 15-page business plan for the entrepreneur’s startup.
The goal of the experiment is to investigate in how far exposure to same-gender entrepreneurs within the course has a positive impact on students’ entrepreneurial intentions, attitudes towards entrepreneurship, as well as their entrepreneurial self-efficacy. We are looking on student's development over time regarding eight outcome measures.
Intervention Start Date
2016-04-11
Intervention End Date
2018-07-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
We defined seven outcome measures:
1) entrepreneurial intentions
(2) attitudes towards entrepreneurship
(3) creative problem solving
(4) marshalling of resources
(5) implementing
(6) managing ambiguity
(7) financial knowledge as five indicators
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We use a survey design with validated self-assessment tests for each construct. All scales were derived from literature and have led to valid results in the past (see document in appendix for references). If the original items were in English and no validated German version available, we translated them with the help of bilingual experts and using a translation-back-translation approach. The main outcome variables are assessed via questionnaires with based on 7-point Likert scales. To ensure the validity of the assessed constructs, factor analyses of all assessed construct will be conducted. Based on the results of the factor analysis, the value of each construct will be calculated. We complemented our data by a comprehensive set of control variables regarding the previous entrepreneurial experience, personality, course experience and demographics of all participants. Finally, 22 questions about the startup included in the entrepreneurs’ survey help to generate an understanding of the participating companies.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The treatment includes 1133 students (for 2016, 2017; exact numbers for 2018 tbd) who are randomly assigned to the treatment groups. To assign student teams, we use a between-subject design with stratified random sampling following a two-step process: First, randomization takes place on an individual level. Thereby, students are randomly assigned to groups of four to five. In line with course regulations, we furthermore account for balanced previous academic achievements within the teams proxied by previously achieved ECTS. In the second step, randomization takes place on a team level. Hereby, student teams are randomly assigned to business challenges, and thus to the entrepreneurs with whom they collaborate during the course. Always two teams work on the same business challenge.
Regarding the students, data are collected via two questionnaires, one before and one after the course. The first student questionnaire is handed out in a paper format directly in class, right before the kickoff session of the course starts. The second student survey is conducted entirely online after the course. The founder survey is conducted online during the course period. In addition to students and entrepreneurs, we hand out a shortened version of the survey to the involved teaching staff such as the supervisors and master tutors.
Experimental Design Details
All surveys are framed in a way that they help evaluating the quality of the course and the results are be used for scientific purposes. At no point in time, the actual focus of the study is mentioned. All surveys are anonymized, while we achieve matching by employing a voluntary identification code. To ensure clarity of wording and the validity of constructs, the student survey was pretested with a convenience sample of 23 students. The questionnaire for the entrepreneurs is discussed with two entrepreneurs and seven doctoral candidates from an entrepreneurship institute.
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
We have two levels of randomization: First, on an Individual-level - as students are randomly assigned to teams. Second, on a team-level, as teams are randomly assigned to business founders.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
337 teams (2016, 2017, 2018)
Sample size: planned number of observations
1678 students (2016, 2017,2018)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Group 1 - male students w/ male founders: 483 students
Group 2 - male students w/ female founders: 277 students
Group 3 - Female students w/ male founders: 674 students
Group 4 - Female students w/ female founders: 244 students
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Minimum detectable effect sizes (MDES) are estimated for all outcome variables at a 5 percent level of significance and 80 percent power (as units of a standard deviation): Entrepreneurial intentions: 0.38, attitudes towards entrepreneurship: 0.39, creative problem solving: 0.38, marshalling of resources: 0.39, implementing: 0.4, tolerance for ambiguity: 0.29
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS